Feedback: The Basics
Updated: Sep 7, 2020
With an open mindset and attitude of humility you can and should be asking for feedback. FROM THE RIGHT PEOPLE. That's right, not everyone is the best to seek feedback from. I know you're shocked. Let me pause here and let you know that feedback is not criticism. Feedback is helpful, constructive and has your best interest in mind. Feedback is not hurtful, damaging or controlling. Before we continue this conversation, I want you to know that you should seek and ask for feedback from people who value and respect the entire feedback process. Likely, these are people you are giving feedback to when they need it as well (because they also value it!).
Feedback is powerful and I've seen quite a few people ask for feedback but then fumble with what to do with it. Sometimes feedback can be overwhelming to the point it cripples us. We maybe sought after some positive feedback and instead, got what felt like a laundry list of a lot of improvements. Again - if feedback is coming from people we respect and trust...listen. HOWEVER - get more than 1 persons feedback. I've found it most beneficial to ask the same feedback questions to 3-5 people. This gives a broader scope and allows me to see the experience I'm giving from multiple perspectives. Let me tell you about a time I asked for feedback. . . .very poorly.
When I launched my website I decided to ask a few people to review it for me and give feedback. I was specific with the people I wanted to give me feedback: graphic designers or web developers. I posted in an online group and asked if anyone fit the criteria and would be willing to give me feedback in anonymous survey I created. Whelp. I got one person. And that, my friends, is where I learned an important lesson in asking for feedback. This person had critiques for nearly every single thing I had done. Font. Size. Colors. Photos. Message. Placement. It wasn't pretty. I was frustrated, deflated and let a total stranger wreck my mood for days. I wasn't ready for feedback and honestly, I only did it because I know feedback is a key to growth and suspected I'd get 80% positivity and 20% gentle adjustments!
I didn't prepare myself for feedback, gather enough people to ask (and the right people...ahem, like my ideal clients) or lay out what I was going to do once I heard some responses. I just clicked 'post' and let things happen. YIKES. When you go for feedback, have a plan. I'd recommend you answer the following questions beforehand:
1) What is the purpose of asking for feedback? Am I seeking helpful suggestions to improve or simply praises on my current work?
2) Who is the best person/people to ask for feedback from? How many people should I ask? In what format should I ask?
3) Am I ready to hear feedback with a total growth mindset, without defensiveness?
Whether you have a 1-1 conversation or send out an anonymous survey, utilize your findings. Write out a list of takeaways. Be a good listener. Don't simply listen to reply or defend, but listen to understand. Soak up feedback, digest it and let it fuel you into more success. Here's another little fun thing before I wrap it up for today . . . when you ask for feedback, receive it, use it and implement it...people will feel a part of you and your brand. They'll feel heard, respected and valued. You want to be that kind of person and have that kind of brand. I promise.
Now, it's up to you!
(self-awareness is a great place to start. find your biggest strengths in 10 minutes, click here)